Jimmy Kimmel returned to his show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, last night. He had taken a week off to spend time with family after his son Billy’s heart surgery.
And as has been the case lately: He started with a powerful monologue calling on Congress to fund CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program. And they should do it before working on tax cuts, he added.
Kimmel has taken several opportunities to address the GOP on his show about health care and tax reform starting in May when he opened up about Billy’s congenital heart defect, Tetralogy of Fallot.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program, enacted in 1997 by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, provides states with funding to insure low-income children whose parents make too much to qualify for Medicaid.
According to a Pew Charitable Trusts analysis:
“CHIP is funded through a combination of state and federal dollars, but unlike Medicaid, federal funding for CHIP is capped. Despite those limits, Congress has generally provided sufficient funding in recent years for states to operate their programs.”
But for federal funding to continue, Congress needed to have it approved by this past September. They missed the deadline.
And now states are trying to deal with the consequences, deciding between dropping kids from coverage, reducing benefits or both.
“If these were potato chips they were taking away from us, we would be marching on Washington with pitchforks and spears right now,” Kimmel said.
Despite the somber subject matter, Kimmel managed to end on a higher note, confirming Billy’s health, saying he has only one more surgery to go.
We’re rooting for you, Billy!